Michelle and I have been wondering how many of you are actually reading our “Minister Messages.” We understand that folks are busy – and reading one more email may not be how you want to spend your time. I get it. In fact, I’m becoming increasingly selective about how I spend my time, i.e., how I live my life.
One benefit of maturing is we learn we can’t take time for granted. There’s a limited amount of time in a day, a week, a year and a life – so mindfully choosing how we spend it is essential to co-creating a life of meaning, purpose, and joy.
As most of you know, I have radically shifted how I spend my time over the past 18 months as I joyfully added babysitting my newest grandchildren to my life. And at first, that’s what I did: I added the hours I spent with Rory Rose and now also Lennon (about 10-11 hours a week) to my already pretty busy schedule.
It took almost a year for me to realize that I was over-extended. In order to keep up with everything, I had forfeited sleep, reflection/meditation, and exercise time (in other words, self-care time) that were all essential to my physical, emotional, and spiritual health – and thus my capacity to create a life of quality.
That realization caused me to stop and consider my priorities, and then re-consider my current commitments. I easily determined that at this point in my life, taking care of my health and wellness, AND spending time with my grandchildren (both here and in Cincinnati) are non-negotiable priorities. Which meant I needed to adjust my other commitments.
I began to pray and meditate on “what is mine to do” at this point in my life, reflecting on what brings me meaning, purpose, and joy – what is the best use of my time – and what has become simply obligation and/or habit. The guidance has been enlightening, freeing, and constructive.
As a result, I’ve significantly reduced my commitments to Unity Worldwide Ministries committee work; I’ve stayed involved in but become more selective around COPA commitments; and as you’ve probably noticed, the ratio of Sunday speaking has shifted from primarily me to primarily Michelle – which has created more time for me to focus on addressing important leadership and administrative work within our community – like visioning and goal-setting, as well as clearing out old files and updating our Policy & Procedures manual.
And I’m reminded that – as with everything else in life, living mindfully about how we spend our time is not a once-and-done process – but a daily commitment to asking “what is mine to do today” and heeding the advice.
So…if you’re reading this – I would truly appreciate an honest response to my initial question: How many of you are actually reading our Minister Messages? You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org … and the response will provide the answer!